"Let There Be Light" - A place for conversation with the Rector of St. Paul's Memorial Church, 1700 University Avenue, Charlottesville, Virginia, 22903
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
The Golden Age of the Rooming House Matrons: Our Booker House
Here is something to brighten your day: an article from the University of Virginia Magazine published this week. The story is about Booker House, which is next door to St. Paul's Memorial Church.
Once upon a time it was a boarding house that we managed for students. We still own the house, but it is on long-term lease to the University which has fixed up the building. Here is top of the story, and click at the bottom to read the rest:
If you were to walk into the Booker House on University Avenue across the street from the Rotunda, you would find yourself in an office. It’s a nice office with columns and intricate moldings, but an office nonetheless. It would be hard, while looking at the cubicles and the inboxes, to imagine a grand piano toward the back, a crackling fire in the fireplace and, harder still, the soaring voice of a world-famous opera singer. The opera singer was Miss Betty Burwell Booker. Before the Booker House was an office building, she ran it as a rooming house, offering students room and sometimes board because the University opted not to do so. Its policy read: “it is inexpedient for the University to undertake the building of additional dormitories, or boarding houses for the accommodation of students, unless & until it shall appear that suitable & sufficient accommodations will not be afforded by private enterprise on reasonable terms.”